India vs Australia: Five reasons why Virat Kohli & Co.’s slumped to 333-run loss | cricket | Hindustan Times
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India vs Australia: Five reasons why Virat Kohli & Co.’s slumped to 333-run loss

Indian cricket team lost to Australian cricket team by 333 runs to trail 1-0 in the four-Test series. Favourites India will now have to play the catch-up act against the visitors. A look at the five reasons why Virat Kohli’s men lost.

cricket Updated: Feb 25, 2017 17:52 IST
Somshuvra Laha
Virat Kohli scored 0 and 13 in the first India vs Australia Test in Pune.
Virat Kohli scored 0 and 13 in the first India vs Australia Test in Pune. (AFP)

Indian cricket team’s 333-run loss to Australian cricket team in Pune on Saturday came as a shocker. After a 19-Test unbeaten streak, Virat Kohli’s side went into the series as favourites but was given a reality check by Steve Smith’s men.

A look at the five reasons why India’s unbeaten run came to an end.

Virat Kohli lost the toss as Australia captain Steve Smith chose to bat first in Pune. (BCCI)

Losing toss

Indian pitches are normally best suited to bat on the third day. This wasn’t the case in Pune. So dry was the pitch that Virat Kohli would have realised the importance of the toss at first look. Unfortunately for him though, it went Steve Smith’s way.

Virat Kohli Captain was clean bowled by Steve O'Keefe during third day of the first Test.

Kohli’s form

Rarely would you find a Test where Kohli has scored 0 and 13. It couldn’t have come at a worse time, against one of the toughest opponents, India were to face in their long home season. Kohli averages over 61 in the fourth innings but this wasn’t one of those Tests where he could bail out India.

Steve Smith celebrates his century during third day of the first Test. (PTI)

Sloppy fielding

A decade earlier, India had great close-in catchers but were sloppy in ground fielding. The situation has reversed in recent years. Dropping Steve Smith, who ultimately scored a match-winning century, thrice isn’t great advertisement for the No.1 Test team.

Mitchell Starc scored a 63-ball 61 in the first innings. (BCCI)

Starc’s half-century

Steve Smith’s century may have provided the final impetus but this win wouldn’t have been possible without Mitchell Starc’s breezy 63-ball 61 in the first innings when Australia were at 196/7. Not only did it help Australia go past 250, it also delivered a psychological blow to India.

Australia's Steve O'Keefe picked 12/70 in the first Test. (REUTERS)

O’Keefe’s super haul

India have been hurt by unknown spinners before too. Steve O’Keefe is the latest member to sign up for that club. The left-arm spinner was more accurate than Ravindra Jadeja and probably spun the ball less than him to bag 6/35 in each innings and give Australia an unexpected 1-0 lead in the series.